Autumn is so eager to do everything her big sister does, she’s a happy child but gets frustrated when something that seems so simple for Harper is a challenge for her. It’s astonishing how quickly I forget the challenge of a baby learning to sit, or crawl, or walk. Things that have become second nature for your older child are still nearly impossible for the younger and you have to grit your teeth and watch them learn, and be ready to provide comfort when they ask for it. Do you find having a second child (or third or fourth) child to be easier or harder than the first?
Sugar Sheep sent me a medium organic bamboo flat to review. I received this just in time for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, and I loved using it on both of my girls. Flats can be a very good option for parents on a budget, parents troubleshooting laundry issues, and parents looking for an easily customizable diaper that can also be a good option for sensitive skin.
Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩ Flats can have more of a learning curve if you have never practiced a flat fold. I recommend you begin with a simple pad fold to ease you into it (just fold it into a rectangle that fits within your cover) and then maybe choose one more fold to learn at first, something that wraps around the baby and secures with a Snappi to help keep the diaper in place. This flat does allow for an easier folding experience with a subtle amount of stretch (more stretch in one direction, less in the other, allowing you to flip the flat and create a fold that works best for you) and thick terry bamboo on both sides to ensure there is no “right” or “wrong” side to be against your baby.
Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩ Flats are generally regarded as the most economical diapering choice, and while the price of a specific flat may differ from another you can still generally expect to pay less for a high quality flat than you would pay for a more structured insert provided the materials are similar. These flats are listed at a higher price ($31.50 for a three pack of medium size which measures 23.5 inches square, making the individual price only $10.50 per flat) however they are incredibly plush and absorbent, and the material does not shrink or warp which makes certain folds much easier to master.
Performance ✩✩✩✩ This flat is extremely absorbent on it’s own, and when combined with a wool or hemp doubler, Tara (the wonderful WAHM who sews these flats) notes you can go up to four to six hours between changes. I have used this flat overnight, with a hemp doubler tucked in and a wool cover for peace of mind. There were no leaks in the morning, the hemp was saturated and the bamboo flat was damp but the moisture was spread out throughout the lower portion of the diaper so there was no pooling or compression issues. This flat is serged with heavy duty wooly nylon, which not only allows more stretch flexibility but is also a great option for babies who have a sensitivity to the polyester thread many retailers use on their diapers.
Fit ✩✩✩✩✩ Flats are incredibly accommodating regarding fit, but to master certain folds you may require more or less material. Sugar Sheep flats are generously sized, with newborn and small flats measuring 16 and 20 inches square and doubling as excellent padfold choices or doublers to work with your existing diaper routine if you need extra absorbency. She also offers the medium flat I tried and a large version in a whopping 28 inches square. The material is so plush and absorbent you can get away with less passes and folds, so less layers of fabric, if you prefer to use a smaller flat. When using the size suggested, however, you will have more absorbency that I generally expect from a standard pocket diaper and can go longer between changes, too.
Overall: Whenever a friend or acquaintance tells me “I want to start cloth diapering but I don’t think I can afford it” or “Cloth diaper laundry seems so confusing. You have to prewash and wash and use a special soap and you can put some things in the dryer but not others… Is it really easy to do every week?” or even “I want to use cloth diapers but my baby is so sensitive, I thought disposables gave him a rash but now my cloth is doing it, too.” I always talk to them about flats. While there is a wonderful and extensive variety of modern cloth diapers that have made this choice so much more accessible, it’s great to go “back to basics” when you’re encountering an issue or starting from scratch and these flats from Sugar Sheep are a way to do so without sacrificing quality, style, and time. I love how easily they wash no matter what setting your washer is on, and how quickly they dry (15-20 minutes on my line and this flat is ready to go). These are a great way to build your stash or make it work better for you.
Where to Buy: Sugar Sheep on Etsy